Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Something good

This is a page in my big journal. I love having journals in different sizes... funny how my hand reaches to exactly the one I need at the moment, even if I don't know what am I going to paint in it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pastels, Facebook and Etsy's new feature

I don't want to be hidden in my studio when the whole family is at home and the fire is burning in the fireplace. Since I can't bring all my supplies to the family room, I chose pastels and a watercolor journal - not too much stuff and relatively clean to work with. So, this is what I was playing with yesterday and will probably continue today.
Watercolor paper is, of course, not the best for pastels, but it doesn't matter.... it does grab the pigment and lets it stay there.
Who says colors have to be 'normal'. Green is good :-)
(Specially if you work in a dark room and see the real colors the morning after.)
I decided to join the 21st century and started a Facebook page. I had one for friends and family, but was never very active there. I have no real plans for this one for now, except to learn as I go. I think that if you click on the link on the right side you can become my Facebook friend (which I would like). I'm trying something else - Etsy has a new feature which enables sellers to create coupons (like real shops!), so I posted a promotional 20% coupon on Facebook (it will be valid till the end of November). 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From Canvas to ATC/ACEO

Remember when I announced the video last week and then got sick? It's finally finished and I'm inviting you to take a peek. I hope that you like Chopin's music and are in a mood to watch very fast-paced painting. If you are, you will see that at some point last week the weather was so beautiful that I was painting in my backyard. Right now it's very cold, and I'll be happily painting in front of a fire place.
I started by painting a big painting.
 Then painted smaller elements.
Transformed them into collage sheets.
And finally - created artist trading cards with them. It is so easy and so much fun when everything is printed, cut up and ready to use. I made 12 cards just by combining what was in front of me.
As always - the digital collage kit is in my etsy store. This time I combined 5 full sheets, and for a while the kit will be offered at a same, low price as the previous one. I hope you'll enjoy the video! For me it's time to bake an apple pie (for my son) and a pumpkin pie (for my daughter).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank you!

I wanted to thank you for all the comments, compliments and nice wishes. I had a lovely birthday and am actually feeling better today. Almost completely good :-) I spent better part of the day answering emails and visiting blogs. Happy to say that I met a lot of new bloggers and saw tons of cool art. 
Anyway...  the whole day I wanted to take a picture of my new earrings so that I can write about them in my journal (real journal) and add the photo.  Of course, when I finally got to my camera, the light was completely gone. And since my blog is sometimes my journal, I decided to share it here too. 
You can't see them well, but it doesn't really matter. My teenage daughter likes to say that she is self-centered and doesn't notice anything that doesn't concern her (not true, but she does say that often). I thought that it was funny, because when she gave me my present she said that "they are your (my) favorite color, big enough to be seen but not overly so, and that they are very lightweight so that they will not hurt my ears". She obviously put thought in it. I thought that that was very sweet and not self-centered at all. And she was right - they are s perfect fit for me.
You can see that I tried to take a photo in different ways in my dark room. Only when I finished I saw that I wasn't alone... our dear cat was in the background, probably wondering what in the world am I doing. Notice the way he is looking at me. Isn't he cute?
Yesterday I made a super chocolate cake that was healthy and nutritious enough to eat for breakfast (which I did today). The above mentioned girl asked with a disappointed face "Is it healthy? Is it vegan? Oh well, it IS your birthday". And then she tried it, liked it and even asked for a second piece. I guess that confirms that it's really good. I thought you might want the link for the recipe (btw - that is one of my favorite blogs, a ton of great recipes there).
So, thank you once again! Please let me know if I forgot to send someone the collage sheet.... or if the file is not working or if I sent the wrong one. I received several comments that had no email address or blog links, so I have no way to contact those people. I hope that they will write to me again and include the email address. Hugs!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A little gift from me

I'm celebrating my birthday today. I told my Mom this morning - I'm 46 (gasp!) and still playing with crayons and papers and colors... I'm not sure if that's cool or not, but I know that I'm happy when I do it and lucky that I can.
Because you are always so nice and supportive and because I'm getting so much attention today and because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it's coming up, I thought it would a great time for a little giveaway. 

I think I have 16-17 different digital collage sheets in my etsy shop right now. I would like to offer a free sheet of your choice to anyone who wants it. Send me a bit of positive energy today if you wish (I need it - still fighting the cold), write in the comments the name of the collage sheet would you like and don't forget to leave an email address so I can send it.
 Visit my etsy store to look at all the choices, but don't buy the free collage sheet there... just write your choice in the comments and I'll do my best to email it as soon as possible.
Feel free to share the information about my giveaway on your blog or facebook.
It will be open until Friday, and everyone is welcome to it.
Have a happy day and thank you once again!

Friday, November 19, 2010

No video. Sorry. I've been avoiding the attack of a cold for three weeks, but I lost the battle... It grabbed me at 2 a.m. and is not letting go. I spent the day drinking tea and miso soup and sneezing my head off. As soon as I feel better I'll finish the video. Have a happy, healthy weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In progress

I've been working on something this whole week, so I thought I'd show you a sneak peek.
I think that the video will be up tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Finished painting

 I started with a bright background. Then I added circles in different sizes and colors. Then I had no idea what to do with a background that looked like that, so I painted a  creamy-white glaze, placed plastic wrap over it and left it. When the plastic wrap came off, I was happier.... it was almost neutral, I could paint anything on it. 
 This is where I got frustrated and stopped that day (mentioned in this post).
Now that I look at it, it really wasn't that bad.
I guess it's always good to step away and look at it later with fresh eyes.
 Remember the colorful background? The one that I covered almost completely? The question is - did I really need to paint it and then change so much? Probably not, but it was fun painting it and luckily it's always easy to cover it. I learned not to be afraid of paint.
I can always 'try one more time', as the little bird says.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's not what you look at...

When you draw you are supposed to draw what you SEE, not what you THINK you see. I struggled yesterday with a painting... I just couldn't draw the face in the 3/4 view and it was frustrating. The sad looking canvas is sitting by the side, waiting for my to gather courage to attack it again. In the meanwhile I played again with my ATC digital kit and made more cards. It was very addictive, and therapeutic after a painting flop.
This one was fun - three friends on one little card.
So was this one - punched circles, butterfly wings, crayons and gesso and positive words.
Here is a message for me - Try it one more time.
Yes, I'll give my painting a chance and try again today to make it look the way I want it.
Try printing your own art and re-creating it... it's relaxing and interesting.
Look at these two: same image, two different looks and numerous more ways to make it look original.
I loved seeing this.
StampingMathilda used my image and created a unique card (her blog is beautiful, well worth a visit).
Have a happy day! I am going to attack my canvas (I'll show before/after if it works out).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Missed opportunity

A little over a year ago, I received a fantastic email from the Senior Managing Editor of Art Journaling, in which she informed me that my journal was selected to appear in their publication. They gave the title to my future article: "My Journal is my Canvas". Of course, I did a happy dance and couldn't have been more excited.
Unfortunately, at that time I was very overworked at my day job and didn't have the energy or mindset to write anything. As my deadline was coming about, I wrote an email of apology and said that I just can't write the article. They were kind and understanding, told me that I can write it whenever I can...
The sad truth is that even when my work stopped being so demanding, I couldn't write the article. I started several times and nothing that I wrote made any sense. Whatever it is that I feel at the moment, or whatever I want to express - I do it on the paper of my journal, or in my paintings. I am not a writer - therefore I paint...  So, I didn't write the article, and now - one year after the happy email - I received a box with my journal in it.
I probably wouldn't write about this on my blog if they didn't leave several pieces of tissue paper in my journal. That intrigued me. My guess is that they placed them on the pages they were thinking to use in the article. I find that interesting). 
The following pictures shows 4 spreads, or 8 pages of my journal. 
They do seem to work as a spread, but were painted separately. I wonder if all of them would have been printed or just some.... and would that represent my journal well... maybe.
Anyway, it's nice to have my journal back. I loved looking at my old work. And the moral of the story is, I guess - don't wish to be published if you can't write 750 words about your work. Also - if you do wish to be published - approach the publishers, send your work and wait to do a happy dance when you receive an email back from them (it's really lovely seeing your work in a glossy publication).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Creating trading cards, new video

I always have fun when I am in my studio, but yesterday was special.
It was a rainy day and I spent several hours lost in my world.
I used to create hundreds of ACEO cards.
It is such a quick way to make something meaningful and cute.
For a long time any size larger than 2.5"x3." was "huge" and intimidating.
I printed out the images, pulled out my "toys" and embellishments....
Found out that I have three glue sticks and that all three are completely dry and useless....
I put a dunce hat on something for the first time in two years...
A bird wanted it too...
I also used a different camera to record my play-time. I think the quality is better than my previous video. If I could only remember to tie my hair so that it doesn't hide what I'm doing... If you want to see how my working space got messier and smaller while these cards came to life, take a look at the video. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Sharing the beauty of my day with you....
Don't they look like little fairy beds? So adorable....
I hope you enjoyed visiting San Francisco Conservatory of the Flowers with me. On such a gray day this was a welcome experience of colors, shapes and textures... Now, what will inspire the next painting? Polka-dot leaves, fairy houses, colorful flowers?